Air quality in central Birmingham has improved since the Clean Air Zone was implemented a year ago and has seen a significant fall in the percentage of most polluting vehicles entering the city centre
This reduction in the most polluting traffic – falling from 18.7 per cent on 1 June 2021 to 9.2 per cent in April 2022 – has contributed to an overall reduction in the levels of nitrogen dioxide by 13 per cent in the first six months of the scheme.
Nearly 1 in 10 (nine per cent) of all vehicles that enter the CAZ are vans – of which 79 per cent meet the emissions standard, but this rate of compliance is below average compared to other commercial vehicles such as buses (98 per cent) and HGVs (95 per cent)
To help boost compliance further, SMEs based in the West Midlands who use LGVs in their fleet may be able to apply for grants of up to £4,000 per vehicle to help fund upgraded or replacement vehicles.
In addition, the council has increased the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) grant available to Birmingham-licensed Private Hire and Hackney carriage drivers. Both groups can now apply for a grant of up to £10,000 to cover the operating expenses associated with running a ULEV. Previously, the grant available was up to £2,500 or £5,000 respectively.